Harvard will host St. Lawrence and No. 7 Clarkson, and honor its seven seniors this weekend at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- One of the winningest classes in Harvard Hockey history will be honored this weekend as the Crimson hosts St. Lawrence and Clarkson in its final regular season home series. Seniors Ryan Begoon, Seb Lloyd, Wiley Sherman, Thomas Aiken, and senior captains Eddie Ellis, Jake Horton, and Merrick Madsen will be honored on Saturday. The Harvard Hockey class of 2018 has 78 wins in three-plus seasons at Harvard and could surpass the most wins for a senior group since the class of 2006 had 82, and the most in the last 20 years of any senior class.
The First Line
• In a fight for a top-four seed in the ECAC Hockey standings and a coveted first round bye and home ice in the league playoffs, Harvard (9-6-3 ECAC Hockey, 21 points) currently sits in fourth place in the league standings, five points behind Union (13-5-0, 26 points) and three points ahead of Colgate (8-8-2, 18 points), with all league teams having four games left to play.
• Harvard has won six straight in the series against St. Lawrence and is unbeaten in its last three games (2-0-1) against Clarkson.
• The Crimson will be without the services of leading scorer Ryan Donato, who is competing with the U.S. men's ice hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The Last Time Out
In a back-and-forth Beanpot consolation game, senior Seb Lloyd scored at 2:43 of overtime to lift Harvard to a 5-4 win over No. 19 Boston College at TD Garden. Sophomore goaltender Cameron Gornet made 30 saves in his first career start in net, including five in overtime.
Scouting St. Lawrence
After a 1-14-1 start to the season, the Skating Saints have been playing steady hockey over the past two months, with a 6-7-1 mark over the last 14 games. Last weekend, after a 5-2 win over Colgate, St. Lawrence challenged No. 4 Cornell in a 1-0 loss last Saturday. Junior forward Jacob Pritchard (eight goals, 11 assists) leds the team in scoring, and defenseman Nolan Gluchowski (two goals, 16 assists) has been solid on the blue line. St. Lawrence is the most penalized team in ECAC Hockey (14.9 PIMs per game).
The St. Lawrence Series
Series Record: Harvard leads, 59-44-7
Last Five Meetings:
Feb. 27, 2016 – W, 4-1
Mar. 18, 2016 – W, 2-1 (ot)
Dec. 2, 2016 – W, 4-2
Feb. 25, 2017 - W, 6-3
Jan. 20, 2018 - W, 4-3 (ot)
The Last Meeting
On Jan. 20, freshman forward Jack Badini scored the game-winning goal at 1:16 of overtime to help lift Harvard to a 4-3 win at St. Lawrence at Appleton Arena. Junior forward Ryan Donato scored twice for the Crimson and junior Michael Lackey made 20 saves to earn the win in net.
Clarkson is 1-3-4 in its last seven games after an 18-3-1 start, including a 14-game winning streak. The Golden Knights blew a 4-2 third period lead at home against Colgate in its most recent game and had to settle for a tie. Sophomore forward Sheldon Rempal (20 goals, 13 assists) leads the team in scoring and sophomore goaltender Jake Kielly (18-6-5, 1.74 GAA, .934 Save%) has been excellent in net.
The Clarkson Series
Series Record: Harvard leads, 56-54-11
Last Five Meetings:
Jan. 16, 2016 – L, 5-1
Feb. 26, 2016 – L, 2-1
Dec. 3, 2016 – W, 7-3
Feb. 24, 2017 - W, 4-1
Jan. 19, 2018 - T, 6-6 (ot)
The Last Meeting
On Jan. 19, junior forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage scored twice, including a game-tying goal with 59 seconds to play to help Harvard earn a 6-6 tie at No. 2/2 Clarkson at Cheel Arena. In a game that featured five ties and three lead changes, Harvard went up 5-3 in the third period before Clarkson stormed back to take a 6-5 lead with 5:31 to play. Then Zerter-Gossage found a loose pick in the crease and scored to help Harvard earn the point. Merrick Madsen (25 saves) and Michael Lackey (five saves) both saw time in net.
Horton Nearing Games Played Mark
Senior forward Jake Horton, who has never missed a game in his four seasons at Harvard, is nearing a program record for games played in a season. Horton enters the weekend with 132 games played, eighth all time in program history, and has a chance to match or eclipse the Harvard record of 138 games played set by Tom Cavanagh '05.
Gornet Stars In First Career Start
In his first career start in net this past Monday against No. 19 Boston College, sophomore goaltender Cameron Gornet was impressive, making 30 saves to help the Crimson earn a 5-4 win over the Eagles in the Beanpot consolation game. For Gornet, it was his first game action of the season and first game since Feb. 18, 2017.
ECAC Does It
Harvard has been at its best this season in ECAC Hockey play, with a 7-3-3 mark in league play in the last 13 games. Junior forward Ryan Donato leads the league with 16 goals in 17 conference games, and Merrick Madsen (6-4-2, 2.03 goals-against average, .925 save percentage, three shutouts) has been at his best against league opponents allowing two goals or less in four of his last five starts. Harvard is allowing 2.22 goals per game (.30 lower than overall) in league play.
Donato For Hobey
The accolades are rolling in for junior forward Ryan Donato (21 goals, 10 assists), Harvard's nominee for the 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Donato will play for the U.S. men's ice hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics before returning to complete the season at Harvard. Donato had a career high 14-game point streak (14 goals, eight assists) to open the season, and is the first player in college hockey to reach 20 goals this year, taking just 19 games to do it. No player has averaged a goal per game since Ryan Carter (Iona) in 1998-99. Donato was named the HCA National Player of the Month for December and was also named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month.
Donato, Welch '05 Receive Olympic Call
Junior forward Ryan Donato and former Harvard standout Noah Welch '05 will represent the United States in men's ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Donato and Welch were selected to the 25-man roster that will make-up the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, released during the NHL Winter Classic. Donato, a native of Scituate, Mass., is in the midst of his best individual season with the Crimson. Welch, a two-time All-American and standout defenseman at Harvard, captained the Crimson as a senior in 2004-05. The Brighton, Mass., native registered 76 points (23 goals, 53 assists) in 129 career games. Harvard men's hockey is no stranger to the Winter Olympics, with 28 men's hockey alumni selected as a coach, player, or member of team personnel of their respective national teams, including current head coach Ted Donato '91, who represented the U.S. at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
Several of Harvard's freshmen have made an immediate impact. Forward Henry Bowlby leads Harvard forwards with a +10 rating and has 12 points (six goals, six assists). Forward Jack Badini has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) and is Harvard's top faceoff man (58.2%), and defenseman Reilly Walsh is second among Harvard blueliners with 12 points (three goals, nine assists) including three power play goals.
Dominant on Draws
Freshman center Jack Badini leads the team and is fourth in ECAC Hockey at 58.2% on faceoffs this season. Badini is No. 17 in the nation on draws. Junior forward Ryan Donato, who made the switch to center this season, has also been solid in the faceoff circle with a 52.3% win rate on draws through 25 games this year.
NHL In The Family
Ryan Donato, Jack Donato, Ty Pelton-Byce, and Reilly Walsh are sons of former NHLers. Ted Donato, Harvard's current head coach, played 13 years in the NHL, while John Byce played parts of two seasons with the Bruins and a decade playing professionally. Mike Walsh played parts of two seasons wth the New York Islanders and had a nine-year pro career.
Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen has etched his name in the Harvard record books. Madsen has three shutouts (Dartmouth, Brown, Rensselaer) in 17 starts this season bringing his career total to 10 (Second in Harvard history). With 28 wins last season, he had the most wins by a Harvard goaltender in a single season, passing Grant Blair '86, who had 24 in 1985-86. Madsen will leave Harvard as one of the program's greatest goaltenders. He is currently third on the all-time wins list (53), moving into sole possession of third with his 50th career win against Rensselaer on Jan. 5, and entered the year second on the career goals-against average list (2.04), and first on the career save percentage list (.927).
Madsen in Minny
Madsen made a career high 48 saves in Harvard's 2-1 (ot) loss at Minnesota on Nov. 18, He had the most saves in a game by a Harvard goaltender since Raphael Girard made 48 saves in a win against Yale on March 10, 2012 (4th most in a game all-time).
Donato A High Volume Shooter
Opposing goaltenders can expect to see a lot of Ryan Donato on a nightly basis. Donato leads the team with 132 shots on net (5.74 per game/1st NCAA) The junior forward was second in the country with a 5.14 shots per game average last year. He ripped off a season-high 13 shots during his four-goal showing against Union last season on Feb. 10, 2017 when he became the first Harvard skater since Connor Morrison on Nov. 24, 2009 to score four goals in a game. That number was the highest since Jimmy Vesey '16 had 13 against Rensselaer Feb. 12, 2016.
Harvard hosted One Summit for a learn to skate and play hockey event on Jan. 14 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. One Summit is an organization that helps children battling cancer build confidence and courage through a partnership with a Navy SEAL.
Harvard boasts seven players on its 2017-18 roster that were selected in the NHL Entry Draft:
• Jack Badini (2017, Anaheim, 3rd rd.)
• Ryan Donato (2014, Boston, 2nd rd.)
• Adam Fox (2016, Calgary, 3rd rd.)
• Merrick Madsen (2013, Philadelphia, 6th rd.)
• John Marino (2015, Edmonton, 6th rd.)
• Wiley Sherman (2013, Boston, 5th rd.)
• Reilly Walsh (2017, New Jersey, 3rd rd.)
Fox at World Juniors
Sophomore forward Adam Fox won a bronze medal at the IIHF World Junior Championships, one year after winning gold with Team USA. Fox, who competed a the tournament in Buffalo from Dec. 26-Jan. 5, was the team's top socring defensemen with five points (goal, four assists), including the game-winner in Team USA's 5-4 win against Finland on Dec. 31. Fox was named one of the team's most valuable players.
Senior defenseman Wiley Sherman is one of nine players in college hockey standing at least 6'7", and the tallest D1 defensemen. Stephen Mundinger of Maine and Keenan Suthers of St. Lawrence, both forwards are the tallest players in the nation at 6'8".
Three former Harvard men's hockey players are now general managers in the NHL, the most of any college program. Don Sweeney '88 (Boston), Peter Chiarelli '87 (Edmonton) and Chuck Fletcher '90 (Minnesota) all skated for the Crimson. Only one other college program is represented more than once, Bowling Green: George McPhee (Las Vegas) and Brian MacLellan (Washington).
Through 25 games, senior defenseman Wiley Sherman leads the team with 43 blocked shots, while senior captain Jake Horton leads Harvard forwards with 36 blocked shots. Junior blueliner Adam Fox is second on the team with 37 blocked shots.
Oh Captains, My Captains
Seniors Eddie Ellis, Jake Horton, and Merrick Madsen will lead the squad this season as captains. All Harvard varsity captains are elected by their teammates. This marks the first time in program history that Harvard has elected three men's hockey captains.
Senior co-captain Merrick Madsen has been selected as one of the 20 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award for men's collegiate hockey. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
Harvard placed 27 student-athletes on the ECAC Hockey All-Academic team, the most of any school in the conference. Harvard was led by senior Thomas Aiken, who earned a spot on the Commissioner's List as the top scholar for Harvard in 2016-17.